8 including Bismarck educator apply for Board of Higher Education seat

8 including Bismarck educator apply for Board of Higher Education seat

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Eight people including a Bismarck educator have applied for a vacancy on North Dakota's State Board of Higher Education.

Don Morton, a former board chairman and retired senior director at Microsoft Corp. in Fargo, is finishing his second four-year term on the board in June. He is not eligible for reappointment. His successor will be appointed to a four-year term.

Bismarck Shiloh Christian School Principal Ian Grande is among the eight people who met Friday's deadline to apply for the board seat, according to State School Superintendent Kirsten Baesler, chairwoman of a nominating committee that reviews applications and recommends potential appointments to Gov. Doug Burgum. 

Other candidates are Grand Forks businessman Matthew Dunlevy, retired Casselton businessman Perry Lubbers, Grand Forks businesswoman and TV producer June “JuniKae” Randall, Fargo businessman Cody Severson, Grand Forks attorney Jonathan Sickler, New Rockford farmer and veterinarian Frank Walker, and Fargo attorney Joseph Wetch Jr.

The nominating committee will meet later to choose three finalists for Burgum to consider. Morton’s successor will begin serving July 1. The person who is chosen also will be subject to confirmation by the North Dakota Senate during the 2021 Legislature.

Several of the candidates including Grande applied for a previous board opening created by the January resignation of Dan Traynor, who was appointed to a federal judgeship. Burgum chose Danita Bye, a Stanley business adviser and consultant, to succeed Traynor.

The Board of Higher Education sets policy for the North Dakota University System and oversees its operations. The system includes six four-year universities and five two-year colleges. It has eight voting members, including a North Dakota University System student who represents students, and two nonvoting members who represent the system’s faculty and staff.

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